♪ iraq's prime minister declares victory in tikrit is more as forces basque on the center of the city. ♪ you are watching al jazeera live from headquarters in doha and also ahead, protests in ferguson after two police officers are shot. modi the first indian prime minister to visit sri lanka in over a quarter of a century.
chinese village 19 months after a devastating flash flood and doubts remain about the official government story about what happened here. ♪ the iraqi government is now confident that victory in tikrit is just days away. the iraqi army backed by sierra malitia and tribesmen have been advancing on several fronts and wednesday they captured some western neighborhoods and it focuses on the presidential palace and pockets of the city center and we report. >> reporter: pounding enemy targets on the outskirts of tikrit on the fourth day of a huge offensive. about 3,000 iraqi soldiers and police have been attacking positions held by i.s.i.l. as they try to reach the city center and backed by 20,000 malitia men known as the popular
mobilization forces and sunni tribesmen and not lacking military hardware they have been slowed down by snipers, suicide bombers and boobie trapped buildings and this shows stopping i.s.i.l. suicide bombers in a vehicle from reaching the barocks and that are in the western am ambar province. >> translator: i.s.i.l. tried to enter the city from all four sides and thank god the local police force and tribal fighters helped and we detonated the car bombs. >> reporter: in baghdad they have been cueing for people injured in the northern offensive, it's organized by the army of iraqi artists. >> translator: all iraqis and artists should be in the blood campaign, this is a simple thing i of tear to my country. >> reporter: elsewhere in the capitol the prime minister told
a crowd of students that they have made huge gains but had to protect civilian life and product. >> translator: there are infiltrators who want to tarnish our victories by committing crimes in serious violation and we have strict orders to the police, army commanders and population mobilization forces. >> reporter: forces advancing in tikrit the battle goes on i'm with al jazeera. relative calm has returned to the streets of ferguson missouri in the united states after the shooting of two police officers on wednesday night. activists held a candlelight vigil and called for peaceful protest after they killed the unarmed black teenager last year and christian reports. [chanting] the night after the shooting of two police officers demonstrators returned to the
streets, outside ferguson police department headquarters. >> what happened last night was kind of like random so it's not normal, it's not the norm at all, it's usually pretty peaceful as a protest and i'm a little nervous. >> reporter: they vowed to continue peaceful tactics like stopping traffic until they get the reforms they want. >> we have some things that are good and necessary like justice is not experiencing trauma or experiencing accountability with the people who initiated or perpetuated the trauma and we have not had that yet. >> reporter: st. louis county police are investigating the shooting that happened right outside police headquarters. >> this is really an ambush is what it is you can't see it coming and you don't understand it's happening and you are basically defenseless. >> demonstrators who gathered outside the police station following the resignation of ferguson's police chief mad mostly dispersed and then the gunshots. >> a cop got shot.
>> reporter: this is an account of a photo journalist who had been packing up when the shots rang out. >> we saw the fire from the gun on top of the street and we ducked down and once we did that we saw the cop was shot next to us. >> reporter: two police officers hit, one in the head one in the shoulder and both have been released from the hospital, the attorney general had this to say. >> not someone trying to bring healing to ferguson this was a damn punk trying to have discord in an area that is trying to get its act together and trying to bring together a community that has been fractured for too long. >> reporter: the family of michael brown, the unarmed black teenager fatally shot by a policeman in ferguson in august were adamant this would not effect their campaign. we specifically denounce standalone agree -- agitators
and to confront police brutality and forward the cause under the law for all. they did find evidence of systemic racism in the ferguson police department but now after a peaceful night of protest the focus is once again on the injured police officers and finding who shot them. kristen with al jazeera, ferguson missouri. india's prime minister arrived in sri lanka for a visit and modi is the first leader to visit in years and investment is to top the agenda and we have the latest from columbo. the indian prime minister modi return visit from stopping there last month after he assumed office of the country and exchange of visits very much a sign of relations between both countries and things had been
somewhat tense between india and sri lanka given the close alliance by china which it stood by during the final stages of the war and that sri lanka very much staying close to china and almost antagonizing and raising concerns in the region particularly for big brother or neighbor india but here we have seen that sri lanka has been sort of very proactively building bridges again and trying to foster that warmth once again. here we saw a very warm welcome for the state visit of the prime minister and he has a very packed schedule over the next two days and holding talks with the prime minister with parliament in the afternoon and paying respects as an indian peace keeping force and indians are here in the late 80s to help the government at the time fight this. tomorrow and even more historic visit to the north and are told
the first by any indian leader and very much a sign of the time and warmth between these two countries. >> a u.s. joined strike in somali killed al-shabab who planned the west gate mall in kenya two years ago and three people were killed near the town and 67 people died in the west gate attack in 2013. stay with africa i.s.i.l. has accepted a pledge of allegiance from boko haram fighters in nigeria, in an audio message posted online a spokesman for i.s.i.l. is heard saying the counterfeit has now expanded to west africa until recently boko haram was in control of an area the size of belgium, this is a region where it has been most active over the years now the nigerian military says it has taken control of many areas. the military says boko haram is now cornered into these areas.
it does have control of several towns and battles are ongoing and we will bring in correspondent and i.s.i.l. accepting this pledge of allegiance from boko haram and what does it mean and what is next for boko haram? >> well many people here are seeing this as empty, as superficial and as part of a propaganda game going on and do not accept there is any cooperation or real collaboration between boko haram and i.s.i.l. that is the view of the government here in nigeria, of the military forces involved in fighting boko haram on the borders of chad and the niger republic and say the 28 minute audio that was released on the internet placed on the internet by i.s.i.l. supported its belief is basically more symbolic than real in the sense that no real evidence can be
found of i.s.i.l. and boko haram actually working together so the reaction really is muted. >> and the multi national force you mentioned has been engaging boko haram fighters of force in the northeast, what progress has been made? >> well according to military senior military personnel in abuja the plan is going well. over the last few days they have announced the retaking of major strategic towns under the control of boko haram and say not enough credit is being given to nigerian soldiers for what they are doing and there has been a bit of too much emphasis if you like on what neighboring countries like chad and niger and cameroon are doing with the group and in the past few days goodluck jonathan gave an interview and talked about the successes of nigerian military and actually vowed to defeat the
group substantially within the next 2-3 weeks just ahead of elections taking place here at the end of the month. >> thank you for that that is live for us in abuja. still ahead on the program a giant in the world of fantasy literature has died and we look back at the life of terry and changing way latin american tells its own stories and we will take you to the continent's oldest. ♪ extremely wrong... >> what's the price for militarizing our police >> they killed evan dead >> faul lines, al jazeera america's hard hitting... >> today they will be arrested... >> ground breaking... >> they're firing canisters of gas at us... >> emmy award winning investigative series... deadly force: arming america's police only on al jazeera america
al jazeera live from doha and reminder of top stories the iraqi government is confident that victory in tikrit is days away, the army is pushing to the center of the city as they try to drive out i.s.i.l. fighters, in the united states activists in ferguson missouri held a candlelight vigil to call for police, two police officers were shot at a protest against police racism of wednesday night. and india's prime minister is visiting sri lanka and modi is the first native to do so this 25 years and trade and investment are expected to top the agenda. now to south africa where lawyers for oscar pistorious are back in court trying to prevent prosecutors appealing and he was convicted of killing his girlfriend reeva steenkamp in 2013 and we go to erika outside the court in joe johannesburg
and why is the prosecution appealing? >> i will try to simplify it as much as i can, in december of last year the prosecution went to court and said the judge when she sentenced oscar pistorious and downgrade his convection from murder down to the culpable homicide which of course came with a prison sentence they say that she applied the wrong rule of law. so what happened from there is it's now going to go to the supreme court later on this year to decide if the appeal can be upheld and what we are listening to is oscar pistorious and saying there is no argument that the current rule of law is used and this should remain status quo and don't want this going on to the supreme court. >> what we have essentially is a defense appealing the prosecution's appeal if i understand you correctly today, what do we expect to happen in
court? >> we just don't know the judge is deliberating as we speak and depends entirely on what we decide, if she decides the prosecution argued correctly the wrong rule of law was used in the sentence then this goes to the supreme court lawyers, if however, they decide no oscar pistorious's defense lawyers were correct in saying the correct rule of law was used it stops here and want it to happen and want it to end here because they don't want it going to the supreme court and potentially going back to court because they want the lesser sentence to remain of culpable homicide because of course that means five years in prison as it goes back as a murder trial then of course he could essentially go in prison for much longer and that is exactly what they don't want to happen. >> thank you very much. >> it depends on what the judge decides today and we will decide soon. >> we will go back when the judge decide and erica is live in johanesburg. ukraine president says u.s. will
provide them with drones and other nonlethal assistance and it continues on a daily basis despite a truth between government and proseparatists and we report from donetsk. >> reporter: daily bullets and mortars break the silence of a fragile ceasefire in eastern ukraine both sides say they are bracing for major military offensive that can come any time. >> translator: ukrainian side has not withdrawn heavy weapons and we are bouncing on the razor's edge of a military conflict. >> reporter: ukrainian troops would likely be to blame for provoking a new onslaught. >> translator: in this it's ukraine and any fire to residential areas of donetsk would lead the situation to explode in an instant. >> reporter: do you have reason to believe that might happen? >> translator: yes, certainly, it has not just happened once or twice over six months we had
many civilian casualties. >> reporter: so all it would take is for one more mortar and not far away ukrainian troops say they expect assault and are convinced it's pro-russian separatists who will launch it. >> translator: in this village there are spotters to the so-called rebels and mortar from the army and we are strengthening the trenches responding to attack. >> they accuse each other for the ceasefire and ban on heavy weapons and both seem to agree it's rebel forces training that would launch a new offensive and the rebels say they want the ceasefire to hold there might be military reasons for them to launch a new battle. the u.s. intelligence firm sees three potential scenarios and could take the port city of
maripol and take the ukraine southern coast and go with the break away republic where 2000 russian troops are already stationed stationed, in the least likely scenario pro-russians could take all of ukraine to the deep river, a plan that would require at least 90,000 russian troops. >> translator: there is a ceasefire because they were winning momentum and the government in kiev have more to gain now by focusing on regaining the economy rather than focusing so much on the eastern ukraine. >> reporter: it would further rattle the already traumatized and little more than watched the
crisis unfold donetsk, eastern ukraine. the government was criticized for being unprepared and hiding the number of deaths. al jazeera's harry faucet reported in the days immediately after the disaster, 19 months later he returned to try to find more answers. >> reporter: the river that runs through here is a trickle now as winter keeps its grip on northeastern china and destruction left in 2013 is still visible. we arrived four days after the flash flood to a town full of grief and anger. they were accusing authorities of covering up the true extent of the death toll. another person tried to talk to tell us what he believes what happened here and once again the police are talking to them. >> reporter: 19 months we have come back to find out what really happened here on the
24th of august 2013 they said 30 were dead and 58 missing and it never released another figure and they said that was always a serious underestimate. for the whole of the town it's at least 170 or 180 dead i know because i know this place very well. in 2013 we met this person who said then that officials reassured people that the water would flow past the town. now she lives in a newly-built housing estate down the road in a free apartment far superior to her old home but has not changed her story. >> translator: they did not expect the flood would be so big, nobody told us if they had the damage wouldn't have been so bad. >> reporter: nearby village suffered similar damage but no one died here the difference locals tell us a concerted effort by officials to get people out of danger. there are two things we heard
throughout the second visit here firstly people believe 200 died in the disaster and not 88 which is the official government figure and secondly complain lack of a warning and lack of an evacuation order, a community used to dealing with flooding simply did not know what was heading its way. so the disaster was minimized to escape punishment and according to party secretary who insists they did warn residents so how many died here? >> translator: i know nothing about this. >> do you feel the senior local government doesn't know how many people died in your hometown? >> translator: i'm in charge of restrucks and talking about death tolls i have no idea. >> reporter: in summer of 2013 which filled the reservoir beyond limits it was hit with half a meter, half of annual rainfall in less than a day, for
many here this was also a manmade disaster and officials are doing too little to save lives and hiding the number of deaths and after inquiries to the government raised the official figure it now said 134 people were killed it just never thought to make it public until now harry faucet china. powerful cyclone pam struck the south pacific packing winds up to 185 kilometers per hour and it's a category five and could trigger surges and landslide and has damage to the solomon islands. costa-rica, ash one kilometer in the air and the most powerful in decades and the nearby capitol san jose suspended flights because of visibility and access roads around tourist cites are
closed. this man was 66 and fought a much publicized battle against alzheimer's disease campaigning for research and gerald tan has more. >> reporter: known as a novelist and an observer of human nature and most famous for the world series comprising 40 books set in a fantasy universe and during the four-decade career he wrote 70 books and translated into 37 languages with sales topping the 35 million copies and he was british best selling offer in the 1990s before surpassed by j.k.rowling and he was diagnosed with early on set alzheimer's disease and spent his time for critically ill patients and suicide and he spoke to al jazeera on the matter. >> i would like to see assisted dying in this country for shall
we say for those cases which are not yet, which might not be considered controversial. >> reporter: pressure was on by queen elizabeth in 2009 for services to literature in his final moments he remained eloquent and announced his death on twitter saying terry took death arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the enless night and followed by just two words, the end. scientists say they might have found a new way of treating alzheimer's disease. it's in the very early stages but the research on mice could help 50 million around the world with all time earliers and causes severe memory loss and there is no cure. the exact cause is unknown but people with alzheimer have what is described as a build up of plaque in the brain and stopping
neurons from working property and the university have treated this in mice using ultrasound waves and said it completely cleared the plaque in 75% of the mice and then performed better in memory tests. and jeremy hughes is the chief executive of the uk and says more work needs to be done before a treatment is passed. >> we are excited every time there is a bit of research that shows possible home for people with alzheimer's disease and over 40 million people around the world living with the disease today with little prospect yet of really kinding a cure this is early stage research we are hearing about from australia and only been done on mice it's a relatively small study and hopeful with more investment and research and double the efforts we will be able to build on some early studies and really find the answer in years to come so yes it's important to have hope for the future but of course what is
also supporting is living with alzheimer's today and people around the world don't get a diagnosis and some people are embarrassed and too much stigma where people won't talk about alzheimer's and other forms of dementia and they are lonely forgotten and suffer in silence. >> we might not have the glammar but it's an important showcase for latin american films and deal with resent history and get a claim abroad finding an audience at home can be harder and we report the festival is trying to change that. >> reporter: the harrowing drama of a teen aging forced to join the farc and hide the pregnancy and this is a choice for a film festival and bringing a stark dose of reality to the proceedings. and the director says it's the festival's duty to remember the
country's brutal history. >> translator: it's our way to contribute to our peace process through cinema and we cannot have a long-lasting peace or build a country if we don't understand the horrible things that have happened then we are all responsible for. >> reporter: 53 films are competing in different categories, in the week-long festival in one of columbia's cities and the struggled history and identity seem to be common themes and some of the films have already been shown in major festivals around the world they often have a hard time finding an audience back home. it's difficult to imagine anything further apart from war and poverty than the perfectly restored sensor here but they are lining up for the realistic story, the problem for the film is they often lack distribution
in columbia and across latin america and something this year the festival promises to change. the festival is becoming a focal point to market latin american films through the content and hundreds of professionals are expected this year. >> translator: we want to recognize ourselves as latin america, as a gigantic market of 600 million people who speak the same language but it's difficult to circulate latin american films in latin america. >> reporter: the director and successful presentation at caan festival it has deals throughout europe but struggle to do so in latin america. >> translator: until people understand that this is represented and understand better who we are it will be difficult to change that we need to form a new public. >> reporter: here film makers do have an audience keen to
discover the stories this continent has to tell i'm with al jazeera, film festival. and reminder that you can keep up to date with all the news on our website, the very latest and all of the top stories there, the address is al jazeera.com. ♪ hi i'm lisa fletcher, and you're in stream are. . -- in "the stream". libya descends into chaos more than a decade after muammar gaddafi lost power. why it is on the brink of war and what another failed state would mean. filipinos join the fight with americans in world war ii, why the veterans with us are fighting now to make good on a families.